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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called on ASUU members to reconsider their position on the ongoing strike.
The union began the strike on February 14.
The president expressed worry that the strike would have generational consequences on families, the education system and future development of Nigeria.
His media aide, Garba Shehu, stated that Mr Buhari made the call when he received some APC governors, legislators and political leaders at his country home in Daura, Katsina. The visitors were in Daura to pay Sallah homage to the president.
Mr Buhari noted that the strike had taken a toll on the psychology of parents, students and other stakeholders, throwing up many moral issues begging for attention.
He noted that the nation’s future rested on the quality of education, assuring that his regime understands ASUU’s position, but that negotiations should continue with students in lecture halls.
“We hope that ASUU will sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike. Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home,” said the president. “Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake.”
The president called on all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly those close to ASUU leaders and members to persuade the lecturers to reconsider their position and its effects.
According to Mr Buhari, Nigerian students will be faced with the challenge of competing with others in technology-driven work spaces.
Keeping the students at home, he argued, only deprived them of time, skills and opportunities to be relevant on the global stage.
“Colonial type education was geared towards producing workers in government. Those jobs are no longer there. Our young people should get education to prepare them for self-employment. Now education is for the sake of education,” Mr Buhari explained.
He added, “Through technology we are much more efficient. We should encourage our children to get education not only to look for government jobs.”
Mr Buhari further noted that resources should be channelled more into building infrastructure and operations of the health and educational sectors, not to expand the bureaucracy to create job opportunities.
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About the author
Akeem Alao trained as a language teacher. He graduated from Adeniran Ogunsanya college of Education where he studied English/Yoruba Languages and Ekiti State University where he obtained a degree in English Education.